Most Popular Skincare Services by State

Top Skincare Services by State

Have you ever given someone a triple oxygen facial? Have you ever done a brazilian wax right before a client leaves for her exotic vacation? If so, you’re probably an esthetician (or #beautyboss). From facials to microdermabrasion to chemical peels, today, we’ll discuss all of the treatments available in the market to make your client’s skin softer, their eyebrows thinner, and their extensions even more fab.

I write this article because I was curious about which treatments clients in different states love most. 

Does a client’s skin and hair treatment preferences shift based on where they live?

Curious to know the answers, we analyzed data from tens of thousands of Estheticians who are using PocketSuite to schedule and collect payment from hundreds of thousands of beauty clients.

After analyzing this Esthetician data, we created the map above to answer the question – we hope you’ll join us as we nerd out on some Beauty Industry statistics!

(Psst.. If you’re new to the PocketSuite blog, we’ve also written a lot on the topic of How to Market your Esthetician Business on Instagram, How to Get your Esthetician License, and How to Get More Clients for your Esthetician Business on Yelp.)

Today, we’ll discuss some common trends in the beauty industry as well as share the most popular skincare services for estheticians by state based on PocketSuite client booking data.

But first… what’s been going on in the beauty industry as a whole?


‘Skincare Specialists’ is the technical term used to describe Estheticians and Beauticians by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The beauty industry is popular and growing fast – the employment of Skincare Specialists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026.

The beauty industry is growing and expected to reach $180 Billion by 2024. 

With all of these positive growth indicators, plus the unemployment rate being at a low 2.2% (prior to Covid-19) for Estheticians, it makes sense to commit to this field if you’re just starting out in your career.


The BLS defines the job description as “cleansing and beautifying the face and body to enhance a person’s appearance.”

Common terms for Skincare Specialists include Estheticians, Beauticians, as well as sub-categories of specialists like Eyelash Technician or Hairdresser.

Well trained Estheticians should be able to do the following easily:

  • Sterilize equipment and clean work areas, now in the age of Covid-19 more than ever
  • Examine clients’ skin to evaluate skin condition and appearance.
  • Cleanse clients’ skin with water, creams, or lotions.
  • Demonstrate how to clean and care for skin properly and recommend skin-care regimens.
  • Apply cosmetic products, such as creams, lotions, and tonics.


US News determined that the average Esthetician and/or Skincare Specialist makes around $30,080 per year:

Skincare Specialist Median Income

The BLS estimated the median hourly wage of an Esthetician was $15.05 in 2018.

However, this number varies dramatically by area.

For example, Estheticians in the Virginia Beach area earned more than $55,000 in May 2011 while those in south central Wisconsin earned less than $23,000.

Here’s a closer look at average salary by state:

Annual Mean Wage of Skincare Specialists

Given this large chunk of change, it’s no surprise that the industry is growing quickly – an estimated 6,800 Skincare specialist jobs are expected to be added between 2016 and 2026.

However, there is a barrier to entry to becoming a certified specialist in the Beauty field.

Typically, the price of admission is the cost and time it takes to earn a certification.

According to IPEDS, the tuition for a 2 year degree in Esthetics ranges from $3,393 in public institutions to $10,546 for out-of-state private institutions.

Check out our article on how to get certified – we can guarantee it will cost you less if you do it online than at an institution, however the in-person training could be worth the expense.

If you don’t have an official college degree, don’t worry!

A full 89% of Estheticians have no Bachelors degree, so don’t let that stop you.

Additionally, there are other opportunities available in the field besides actually being an Esthetician – you can try medical esthetics, aromatherapy, or permanent makeup.

“You also have the option of becoming a teacher, representing or launching a skincare line, or managing a spa.”

Now that we know what an Esthetician does and how much they make, let’s talk about the most popular services offered by Estheticians in the US.

Most Popular Skincare Services in America


We looked at the entire US and highlighted the most popular skincare services in each state.

The absolute #1 most popular service across all states is General Waxing (pictured in grey above).


There are a variety of waxing treatment available, including Bikini Waxes, Brazilian Waxes, and waxing individual body parts.

There are also different techniques – Soft and Hard waxing according to Women’s Day:

“Soft wax is done with paper or muslin strips, and hard wax is removed without strips.” 

Just make sure you don’t go tanning up to 24 hours after your wax, or you’ll be really itchy and uncomfortable!

Tied for 2nd place with 5 states each are:

  • Eyelash Extensions
  • Facials
  • Face Cream

Let’s dig a little deeper with each one of these so you can understand which of these treatments may be right for your clients.

Who knows – you may even discover your new favorite service!


There are many types of popular eyelash extensions available:

Mink – The most desirable and usually the most expensive. Natural look.

Sable – Ultra fine, not recommended for those with allergies to animal fur.

Fox – Require more work – must be permed to maintain the curl. 

Man-made – No need to curl or perm them! 

Silk – Heavier, best for special occasions.

Synthetic – Heaviest, least natural looking.

Volume (Russian) – choose between 2-6D. Usually cost more and take longer to apply.

Choose wisely – and expect to pay roughly $80-$150 for your first set of lashes.


Fun fact: Over 7 Million consumers have had a Facial in the last 6 months.

There are so many different kinds of facials you can get:

Classic – Involves cleansing, exfoliating, extractions, a mask, and a moisturizer.

Lymphatic Massage – Minimizes puffiness by massaging certain areas of the face.

Microdermabrasion – Sprays small crystals onto your skin and then vacuums up the exfoliated skin cells – often called an ‘Instant Facelift.’

Electric – Contours the face by applying small electric shocks using a microcurrent device.

Anti-Aging – Similar to a Classic Facial, usually with antioxidant-heavy serums and collagen added.

Brightening – Evens out your skin’s color (hyperpigmentation) using Vitamin C.

LED – Uses specific wavelengths of light to lower breakouts and inflammation.

Laser – Resurfaces your skin by removing the top layer with a laser (don’t worry, this is a lot less like an episode of Star Trek than it sounds)

Go try giving your clients or your best friend one of these facials, especially one you haven’t tried yet! You might just discover it’s your new favorite to give clients.


There is a ridiculously large number of choices when it comes to face cream.

It may be more useful to talk about the different face cream regimens of which there are a variety as well.

Here’s an article that summarizes 8 rules Estheticians live by.

Here are 6 top regimens from the best Estheticians in the world, including Kim Kardashian West’s go-to Esthetician.

Studies suggest that about half of women will choose their skincare products based on the ingredients, so keep an eye on what’s inside and check the label before you buy!

Now that you’re well versed on the most popular Skin Care services in America, why not try using PocketSuite to treat your entire Esthetician business to a “face lift”? Estheticians use PocketSuite to look more professional with clients. You can schedule, collect payments, receive intake forms, and get contracts signed by your clients all in one app, completely from your phone.

We even have a free plan for beginner Estheticians.

There’s a reason we come recommended by the ASCP!

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How To Start A Career in Skincare


The Esthetics industry has gone through many paradigm shifts in the last 30 years. From Beauticians to Estheticians, we’ve seen many changes in how skin care professionals do business. As the “goddesses of skin care,” Skin care professionals mostly help women (and some brave men) to clean, treat, refresh, rehydrate, and rejuvenate their skin.

They also do massage and use products like steam, milk, creams, and scrubs (and in some cases chemicals) as part of their treatments.

Career in Skincare

Skin care professionals also consult with clients on the topics of nutrition and well-being, which plays a major role in the condition of the skin.

Dehydrated skin, for example, may be indicative of not drinking enough water.

A good Esthetician often plays the role of a health and wellness consultant for many of their clients.

Given how important skin care is becoming, we wanted to get a clearer sense of the state of the industry – so we decided to go straight to the source.

We sat down with Susanne Warfield, President and Founder of the National Coalition of Estheticians Association (NCEA) for an in-depth scoop on the major trends happening in the Esthetics industry as of 2020.

NCEA Certified

Check out the full interview with Susanne Warfield on the PocketSuite Professional On The Go Podcast.

POTG with Susanne Warfield

Our first question was personal and straightforward: How did Susanne get into the Esthetics industry? 

Susanne: I always had an interest in skin care and started in high school as a Fashion 22 sales representative. (I’m from Canada)

My mom always made me wear sunscreen and a hat, although back in those days it was a paraben-based sunscreen, which we later learned was not great.

As the founder and president of the NCEA, we wanted to find out how and why the association was created in the first place.

It turns out, Susanne founded the NCEA back in January of 2000.

At the time, the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) Allied Health Committee was looking to liaise with the skin care industry.

Ms. Warfield, a member of the AAD’s Allied Health Committee, was asked to form a coalition of over 30 associations representing skin care professionals in the United States.

The inaugural meeting was held on June 25th of 2000.  22 associations were represented. The National Coalition of Esthetics & Related Associations was formed.

It’s been almost 20 years since the association was formed. With such a strong background in the industry, we were curious why Estheticians (and skin care professionals in general) needed to be licensed to perform their services.

We asked Susanne why estheticians need to be licensed, and how much training is required to get licensed?

Licensed Estheticians

Susanne: Licensing is a way of assuring public safety that an individual has met competency standards to practice as required by the state.

On average in the United States, Esthetician training programs are around 600 hours. The master Esthetician license offered by 4 states is around 1200 hours, as is the National Esthetician Certification (NCEA Certification).

With such a vast array of potent creams, invasive extractors, sharp tweezers, and lancets, it’s no wonder Skin care professionals need a license to operate legally in the US.

It must be a complicated endeavour to get licensed as an Esthetician with so much industry-specific knowledge to learn and then be tested on.

We wanted to know if Estheticians work in the field while getting trained to make it easier when it’s time to pass their licensing test?

Susanne: In some states, they have apprentice / internship laws that allow for Esthetics students to work in an approved salon/spa for a percentage of the hours required by the state.

Also, most schools have school clinics / shops that students will work in (under teacher supervision) and consumers enjoy reduced pricing.

Intrigued by the benefits of being licensed, we wondered what is needed to help more aspiring estheticians get licensed and have a successful career?

Susanne shared some great advice for aspiring Estheticians:

Susanne: Government / School funding for loans [is needed] so that students can afford to go to school. A successful career is to never stop learning.

After state licensing, get your National Certification and take a COA-Approved continuing education course to stay current with technology, science, and ingredients.

Also, be involved with your National Association. Try to attend state board meetings (as part of the 10 Steps to Protect Yourself – found here).

Interested in getting an NCEA Certification?

Why become NCEA Certified


According to the NCEA website, it takes as little as 4 to 6 weeks to get certified.

If you don’t pass on your first try (by getting a score of 75% or higher), you must send a letter to the NCEA stating why you think you failed and what you have done to be better prepared to take the exam a second time. You will also have to pay a $375 fee.

If you live in Washington, Utah, Virginia, or the District of Columbia, you can take your licensing game to the next level by getting a Master Esthetician license to show prospective clients that you went above and beyond your state’s licensing requirements.


Including part-time Estheticians, you can make at minimum $30,000 per year.

Top Estheticians, on the other hand, can comfortably earn up to six figures.

The top Esthetician on PocketSuite is located in Texas and makes $276,000 per year. That’s over a quarter million per year – not bad at all!

Part time Estheticians (gigsters and hobbyists) typically focus on treatments that don’t require a lot of equipment such as facials and eyebrow waxing.

Professional Estheticians, on the other hand, require more space and equipment and will usually do additional procedures such as body scrubs, bikini waxing, steam facials, and extractions.

Career in Skincare


Medical Spas, or MedSpas for short, are another niche in the Esthetics industry that require a doctor to be present and supervising at the time of treatment.

These spas employ Estheticians that have additional medical training and specialize in more invasive treatments such as microdermabrasions, chemical peels, acne therapy, laser hair removal, and even botox.


Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Dermatologists and Estheticians?

Dermatologists treat the skin, however the big difference lies in that dermatologists are doctors who treat specific skin conditions (as an example skin cancer). They are able to write prescriptions and perform surgery.

Estheticians, on the other hand, analyze your skin and perform holistic treatments such as facials, body wraps, extractions, and in some cases, aromatherapy.

It’s important for Estheticians to get additional certifications to work at a MedSpa so they can be trained in infection control, ingredients used in cosmetics, phases of wound healing, and use of devices such as microdermabrasion vacuums.

Even if Estheticians aren’t using microcurrents or lasers, it’s important that they have the knowledge in case their customers ask them about these treatments.

Next we’ll clear up some confusion about the two major associations in the Skin care world.


The National Coalition of Estheticians Association (NCEA) differs from the Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) organization.

The ASCP is an insurance provider. You can purchase insurance for your Esthetician practice and get member benefits.

The NCEA, on the other hand, has a mission to raise standards for Estheticians through national credentialing and continuing education accreditation.

We hope this article has shed some light on the state of the Esthetics industry.

Check out the full interview with Susanne Warfield on the PocketSuite Professional On The Go Podcast.

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